While many Kenyon students spent late December and early January relaxing before the semester, the Lords and Ladies swim and dive teams spent that time training in preparation for the second half of their season.
The Lords and Ladies spent time in Siesta Key, Fla. for a training trip, in what has become a yearly tradition. “We work really hard when we’re down there,” Sam Palicz ’18 said. This year the team was in Siesta Key for 11 days after taking about three weeks off for winter break. The training trip has become such a staple in Kenyon swimming culture that the villas the swimmers stay in also hosted current assistant coaches Fernando Rodriguez ’04 and Tracy Menzel ’09 when they swam for Kenyon.
“We lift a lot, we swim a lot, usually we run a lot,” Palicz said. Usually the athletes train twice a day and spend their remaining time on the beach. During the trip, the Lords and Ladies swam an exhibition unscored meet against Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.), Baldwin Wallace University (Ohio), and Illinois Wesleyan University in Venice, Fla.
Upon returning to Ohio, the Lords and Ladies were ready to face North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) competition. On Jan. 13, the Saturday before the start of the second semester, the Lords defeated the Oberlin College Yeomen 180-84 and the Ladies defeated the Yeowomen 170-74.
The dual meet against Oberlin included an outstanding performance by Matthew Cooper ’18. He was the fastest split in both the first-place 200-yard medley relay and in the first-place 200-yard freestyle relay. On top of his relay performance, he tacked on a first-place individual finish with a 1.53.42 in the 200-yard butterfly. For his performance, Cooper became the first Lord this season to be named NCAC Men’s Swim and Dive Athlete of the Week.
On the Ladies side, Caylee Hamilton ’21 was named the NCAC Women’s Swim and Dive Athlete of the Week. Hamilton helped the Ladies to a convincing victory with the fastest splits in the winning 200-yard medley relay and 200-yard freestyle relay while tacking on two more individual victories.
With a 24.43 in the 50-yard freestyle and a 59.73 in the 100-yard butterfly, Hamilton earned the maximum amount of points for her team. Her showing adds to the dominance of the Ladies first years, who now have two members among their ranks awarded with the NCAC Athlete of the Week honor.
The Lords and Ladies have their senior meet at home against Ohio Northern University and Ohio Wesleyan University Friday at 6 p.m. and conclude their dual meet season on Saturday at the University of Cincinnati.